SafetyNet 720

This week in SafetyNet: HSR wins pay for safety inspections on days off, how boosted Delegate rights can enhance workplace safety, another explosion at Indonesian nickel plant and how the Comcare review could conceivably end the scheme.

An newly elected HSR writes to Ask Renata about their employer’s ‘duty statement’, and as always, we encourage you to send your questions to Ask Renata.

For OHS news and helpful information, please visit the We Are Union: OHS Reps Facebook page.

To access previous issues, you can visit our SafetyNet Archive.

 

News


TEACHER FALLS FROM SCHOOL ROOF

A teacher has died after falling from a roof at a Spotswood school on Thursday. It is believed the 61-year-old man was retrieving balls from the roof about 2:30pm when he fell through a skylight more than three metres to the concrete ground below.

He was taken to hospital with critical head injuries, where he sadly died on Friday. WorkSafe is investigating.

This workplace death was preventable. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

 

Union News


HSR WINS PAY FOR DAY-OFF INSPECTIONS

Fire & Rescue NSW must pay a HSR for inspections done on his days off, despite not having prior approval. The firefighter, who has no set workdays, inspected multiple stations and was initially denied payment by his employer. However, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) ruled that HSRs should be paid for reasonable time spent performing their duties, even outside normal working hours, if necessary.

Learn more

 

SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW HSRs

Last year the Government announced they would be reviewing the powers and protections for HSRs under the OHS Act.

VTHC are gathering information from HSRs and Deputy HSRs about your experiences so we can advocate for changes that will better support your vitally important role.

As an HSR, you won't find a more crucial survey to fill out than this one! 

Please encourage all HSRs at your workplace to fill out the survey. It should take about seven minutes to complete.

 

ASK RENATA

My employer has given me a 'HSR duty statement.' Is that right?

The answer is 'no - absolutely not'! This also applies if your employer has 'directed' you to undertake any particular task, or 'directed' you to undertake your role in any particular manner.

Our OHS Act is very clear and unambiguous on this - HSRs have an important role in the workplace and they have powers to be able to fulfill their role. Employers have obligations to HSRs.

But a duty statement implies that elected reps have duties as representatives - and this is not the case.

Read our response in full.

 

Prosecutions


N.J. STEEL FINED 40K FOR FALLS INJURY

In January 2022, a worker fell almost 4 metres, sustaining severe injuries, because there were no fall prevention measures like guardrails or safety mesh. WorkSafe inspectors found that the company had not prepared or updated a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) and had failed to train workers in height safety. Even after the incident, the company's director continued to work without fall protection.

Learn more

 

Research


EU-OSHA WARNS OF A.I. SAFETY RISKS

Relying too much on AI and automation can result in workers losing important skills and being exposed to new safety risks, says the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA).

Learn more

 

NEW DELEGATE RIGHTS ENHANCE SAFETY

Boosted delegates' rights will make workplaces more cooperative, increasing safety, productivity and openness to new technologies like AI, according to a report by David Peetz of the Centre for Future Work.

Learn more

 

Regulator News


 ENGINEERED STONE BAN - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Why ban engineered stone?
  • Can my stone benchtop be installed after 1 July if I have a contract?
  • Is already installed engineered stone safe?

For the answers to these and other questions relating to the engineered stone ban that came into effect this week, visit Worksafe's' frequently asked questions.

 

REVIEW COULD END COMCARE SCHEME

The decades-old WHS system for non-Commonwealth licensees could conceivably be eliminated as part of a new review of Commonwealth workers' compensation laws.

Learn more

 

International News


ANOTHER EXPLOSION AT NICKEL PLANT

An explosion at PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel (ITSS) on June 13 has injured two workers. This is the second explosion in six months; the first one in December 2023 killed 21 workers.

Learn more

 

LESOTHO: SAFETY AND INCLUSIVENESS

On June 20, the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched a project in Maseru, Lesotho, to create safer and more inclusive workplaces by focusing on occupational health, safety, and ending gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH).

Lesotho is a small country entirely surrounded by the South African provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, and Eastern Cape.

Learn more

 

Events


OHS TRAINING UNIT

The Victorian Trades Hall Council’s OHS Training Unit is one of the most experienced training providers in Victoria.

We have delivered OHS training to tens of thousands of Health & Safety Reps across Victoria since 1983.

We deliver high quality WorkSafe Approved training that is practical and solution-focused in multiple locations around Melbourne’s suburbs and regional Victoria.

  • 5 Day HSR Initial OHS Training Course Fee - $950 (inc GST)
  • 1 Day HSR Refresher Training Course Fee - $350 (inc GST)

Click on the links below for dates and locations.

HSR Initial OHS Training Course
HSR Refresher OHS Training Course

VTHC also offers tailored training, including for managers and supervisors, on Comcare, and on gendered violence.

Check out our training webpage for more information.

 

OHS Team
http://www.weareunion.org.au

 

 

 

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